I first became involved with the AICPA when I attended the AICPA Leadership Academy during the summer of 2009. I had hoped to take away new insights on how to exercise leadership in my organization and community and that’s exactly what I left with. What I didn’t expect were the countless benefits that come with AICPA involvement. Here are just five of the many that I’ve experienced first-hand through my involvement on various AICPA committees and conferences since my participation in the Leadership Academy.
- New and improved skills. The AICPA provides me with unique experiences that my job can’t always offer. These opportunities have allowed me to build upon many different skills. For example, my committee involvement has enhanced my presentation and communication skills.
- A broader professional network. Volunteering with the AICPA allows me to meet and work with like-minded professionals. I find it both refreshing and exhilarating to work with a team of peers, all of whom are trying to make the profession better. I also get to work with the AICPA professional staff, which continues to impress me with their passion and commitment.
- An AICPA perspective. There’s no better way to understand and stay current with what’s going on in the profession than by aligning yourself with the AICPA. I learn first-hand what the AICPA is doing to strengthen the value of our professional designation in the marketplace. Knowing what’s on the AICPA’s radar also allows me to update my organization on emerging matters in the realm of finance and accounting.
- An opportunity to express your professional expertise. By volunteering for committees and conferences within my area of expertise, I get a chance to use skills that I’ve acquired throughout my career. I am also part of a group that values my opinions and works towards a common goal.
- A reciprocal relationship. My involvement has not only been valuable to me and the AICPA, but also to my employer. I am able to leverage my relationship with both organizations for the benefit of each. Cross-training, presentations, and workshops are just a few ways both organizations can work together.
I believe that the AICPA has already had a substantial impact on my professional development and my organization, as a result of my experiences described above, and I cannot wait to see what benefits my future involvement will bring. I encourage you to review the many available opportunities to become involved with the AICPA - you can learn more on the Volunteer section of the Institute's website here. Applications for the 2012-2013 volunteer year will be accepted until May 15, 2012 for the next volunteer year, which begins in October 2012.
Greg Bedard is a finance director at Prudential Financial in Newark, NJ. He has had oversight responsibility for the financial reporting of various investment management and insurance subsidiaries during his career at Prudential. Greg is currently participating in the Corporate Development rotation program at Prudential, where he is assigned to the mergers and acquisitions unit. He is a member of the AICPA Business and Industry Executive Committee, which has been instrumental in the development of the new CGMA designation. Greg also serves on the AICPA Controllers Conference Committee and previously on the Young CPA Committee. He has a master’s degree in economics from Oxford University in England and MBA and bachelor’s degree from the Rutgers Business School (RBS). Greg is an adjunct professor at RBS and is a graduate of the AICPA Leadership Academy and Leadership New Jersey.